Notts: Asperger’s team saved in county council’s budget cuts

County Hall at Trent Bridge
County Hall at Trent Bridge
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A proposal to disband an adult Asperger’s team at Notts County Council has been dropped in light of public concern.

The council will continue to provide the service, which helps around 200 adults with Asperger’s.

The team was set up in advance of the Autism Act in 2009, which placed greater duties on local authorities to provide services for people with autism.

Notts adults with Asperger’s or autism without a learning disability are assessed by the team to identify the help and support that they need to live a fulfilling life.

The team is made up of social care workers with specialist knowledge of the needs of people with Asperger’s and are responsible for commissioning services which help support adults with the condition and their carers.

The council is proposing to reorganise teams which assess local young adults’ social care needs and move away from county wide teams to create an overall saving of £1.2million, to be considered at its full council meeting on Thursday 27th February.

However, local parents and carers of adults with Asperger’s raised significant concerns about the loss of specialist knowledge during the budget consultation so this team will not be included in this proposed reorganisation.

Coun Muriel Weisz, chairman of Notts County Council’s adult social care and health committee, said: “Asperger’s is a complex condition that is often misunderstood.”

“It has been clear from the feedback that we have received from families who have benefitted from the Asperger’s team’s work that there is a risk that we could lose valuable specialist knowledge by disbanding it.”

“We are having to make difficult decisions with all of our services due to reducing grants and increasing demand for key services, but we have taken on board people’s comments from the consultation by revising some of our proposals where we have been able to do so.”

Notts County Council must make savings of £154 million over the next three years due to cuts in Government funding.